Rip Van was a lazy man. I recommend Washington Irving and particularly this collection of his stories in order to experience a formative American author. But if Irving nowadays strikes one as lightweight and Romantic to the point of silliness, one should remember that he was a pioneer and an innovator—the first American man of letters, and one of the champions of Romanticism when that movement had hardly reached this country. This particular edition of the story is wonderful because it contains 51 full page illustrations by Arthur Rackham--the villagers, the troll-like mountain men, the magical creatures in the forest, and Rip Van Winkle with his dog. Irving continued to travel through Europe, publishing the ill-received Tales of a Traveller in 1824.
Ugh to the ugh, this was wretched. His father, William, was a merchant, and his mother, Sarah Sanders, was the daughter of an English clergyman. Yet the idea of the story is present in many cultures. The animal was a broken-down plow horse that had outlived almost everything but his viciousness. He also enjoyed reading, singing and flirting with the t The Legend of Sleepy Hollow starts off with the narrator describing the town of Sleepy Hollow.
I'm glad I re-read it, because there's much more to the Irving telling. Guess I really did enjoy this read for the greater part! How could the flogger of urchins be otherwise than animated and joyous! But, you know, it just occurred to me that: did Rip really get free? The elder folks gathered in knots in the churchyard, greeting and shaking hands, and the children ran about crying Ule! Certain it is, his advances were signals for rival candidates to retire; insomuch that, when his horse was seen tied to Van Tassel's paling on a Sunday night, all other suitors passed by in despair. They had now reached the road which turns off to Sleepy Hollow; but Gunpowder, who seemed possessed with a demon, instead of keeping up it, made an opposite turn, and plunged headlong down hill to the left. This road leads through a sandy hollow shaded by trees for about a quarter of a mile, where it crosses the bridge famous in goblin story; and just beyond swells the green knoll on which stands the whitewashed church. Yet if he succeed, the very variety and piquancy of his writings-nay, their very brevity, make them frequently recurred to, and when the mere interest of the story is exhausted, he begins to get credit for his touches of pathos or humor; his points of wit or turns of language. Many and bitter were the quarrels they had on the subject; but the more she talked, the more resolute was Tom not to be damned to please her Such was their relationship. And This short story by Washington Irving is familiar to every American and has become part of our national mythology.
There was something extremely provoking, in this obstinately pacific system; it left Brom no alternative but to draw upon the funds of rustic waggery in his disposition, and to play off boorish practical jokes upon his rival. Hard by the farmhouse was a vast barn, every window and crevice of which seemed bursting forth with the treasures of the farm. Perhaps the strange men have tricked him and swapped his gun? He remained in Europe for the next seventeen years. He was, in fact, noted for preferring vicious animals, given to all kinds of tricks which kept the rider in constant risk of his neck, for he held a tractable, wellbroken horse as unworthy of a lad of spirit. He could not help rolling his large eyes round him on the ample charms of a genuine Dutch country tea table in the sumptuous time of autumn.
The next day all that the townspeople find is Ichabod's horse, hat and a smashed pumpkin. Reaching for his gun, he discovers another one which is rusty and worm-eaten. It has been a lot of fun learning all this old vocabulary, as well as the Dutch-occupied era of New York. Without looking to the right or left, he went straight to the stable, and with several hearty cuffs and kicks, roused his steed most uncourteously. These stories are Americana and will forevermore be entrenched in our culture and society. He spent winter evenings with the old Dutch wives and loved to hear them tell ghost stories. Usually viewed as omens of ill-fortune for those who chose to disregard their apparitions, these specters found their victims in proud, scheming persons and characters with hubris and arrogance.
The Pride of the Village Oh dear. What was he to do? Several of the Sleepy Hollow people were present at Van Tassel's, and, as usual, were doling out their wild and wonderful legends. As to Rip's son and heir, who was the ditto of himself, seen leaning against the tree, he was employed to work on the farm; but evinced an hereditary disposition to attend to any thing else but his business. An inquiry was set on foot, and after diligent investigation they came upon his traces. It's a fun read, guys.
I'm pretty sure most Americans are familiar with the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Their brisk withered little dames, in close crimped caps, longwaisted short gowns, homespun petticoats, and gay calico pockets hanging on the outside. A stately squadron of snowy geese were riding in an adjoining pond, convoying whole fleets of ducks; regiments of turkeys were gobbling through the farmyard. He is also generally credited as one of the first to write both in the vernacular, and without an obligation to the moral or didactic in his short stories, writing stories simply to entertain rather than to enlighten. Sleepy Hollow is the last story in the book, and so I had to read a lot of other ones before I got to it. The book is a fun, quick read, a little disappointing because it wasn't nearly as spooky as I was hoping.
Irving was very observant when he wrote, so much so that some of his fiction even sounds like personal essays. The Headless Horseman, said to be a decapitated Hessian soldier, may have indeed been based loosely on the discovery of just such a Jäger's headless corpse found in after a violent skirmish, and later buried by the Van Tassel family, in an unmarked grave in the. The sons, in short square-skirted coats with rows of stupendous brass buttons, and their hair generally queued with an eelskin in the fashion of the times, eelskins being esteemed as a potent nourisher and strengthener of the hair. Perhaps, Irving is commenting more on matrimony, but the basic view he shows is that women become overbearing heathens once they marry a man. Either way, this part was funny, if only in the way he wrote it, regardless of the fact that that would never fly today. Irving also encouraged would-be writers.